What is alkaloid Scopolamine and what are its effects?

BiologyChemistryGeneral TopicsPlants & Tree

An alkaloid is a group of organic compounds of a plant origin they occur naturally and are chemical compounds which contain Basic nitrogen atoms alkaloids are produced by a large variety of both plants and animals or organisms like fungi and Bacteria Dr.Meissner was the first who coined the term who coined the term alkaloid And ascertained the alkaline nature of Solanaceae plants.

Alkaloids are a class of basic nitrogen compounds which are occurring naturally. They can be both plant and animal origin. They have powerful physiological action on humans and can be easily identified in the drug form as their trade name. For example, atropine, ephedrine or nicotine every drug ending with ‘ine’.

Scopolamine is one such alkaloid derived from a type of nightshade plant called as Scopolia which belongs to the Solanaceae group. It has medicinal properties which can be either used an as a drug or poison.

This Alkaloid Scopolamine is also known as Hyoscine, which is obtained from Datura stramonium plant or the Hyoscyamus Niger plant family. It is synthesized by plant and derived from the barks, leaves and other parts. It is widely used as a drug. Scopolamine was discovered by a Schmidt of Marburg. Its chemical formula is C17 H21 N o 4.

Uses of Alkaloid Scopolamine

Scopolamine is a powerful drug Prescribed for prevention of motion sickness to control nausea and vomiting during surgery and in the recovery from the effect of anesthesia. Hyoscine was first used in 1947 to control postoperative nausea and vomiting It also helps in controlling or treating sea sickness hence is widely used by sailors and Scuba divers.

The World Health Organization recognized Hyoscine Scopolamine on it essential medicines list. This medicine can be administered by mouth as a Patch on the skin intravenously intramuscularly as an eye drops Subcutaneously.


Prolonged usage of this drug could lead to many side effects. People when administered scopolamine experience restlessness sweating rashes Irregular heartbeat increase in body temperature Blurred vision muscular weakness drowsiness And Pupil dilation considerable changes in the functioning of the intestine stomach the heart the liver and kidney are observed.

Side effects of prolonged usage

It is advisable that elderly people with glaucoma or Bowel obstruction and pregnant ladies take precaution and ascertain Pros and cons of this drug physiologically before use.

Any drug could be beneficial or fatal depending on its use or abuse. The same plant extract can heal or harm depending on the purpose. Hence proper guidance and care are essential before administering such drugs.

Published on 18-Dec-2018 16:26:01